Annual Statistical Report

Welcome to Annual Statistics Time! I can hear you cheering J  Here is information and some suggestions that will assist you in completing your congregation’s annual report.

Everything you need for completing the report is available on-line:

  • The report forms are entirely online and available to begin entry work on December 7, 2018.
  • You do not have to enter all the data at one time.  Hitting the ‘Accept’ button at the bottom of a page saves the data. You may exit and return to enter additional information at a later time.
  • The deadline to submit the report is February 1st.

The link is: http://oga.pcusa.org/stats.   Do not use “www.” That won’t work.  This link connects you to a page titled “Statistical Reporting and Frequently Asked Questions”.  Click either link (labeled “Access the year-end statistics online reporting system” of “Go to the Online Statistics Entry System”) to enter the Church Statistics System.

You will be prompted to enter your church’s PIN and password.

REMEMBER:

  • The church pin is 5 numbers.  You may need to add a 0 if your pin only has 4.

 

  • The password requires an exclamation point at the end:
    Example:       
    Username — 01234
    Password — A1B2C3!  (The password is case-sensitive, so if the letters are in caps, use caps). Don’t forget the
                  exclamation point!

If your attempt fails, try again. If you try three times, you’ll get a notice that you’ve been locked out. Take heart! The national office automatically unlocks blocked churches every couple of hours.

There are four tabs (categories) of information requested:

Church:  Please review and update all church information, including church website and email address.
Clerk:  Please review and update clerk information, including your contact information.
Statistics:  more on that below
Supplemental Questions:  This final tab is completely new.  Unlike the statistical section, which is mandated by the General Assembly and the Book of Order, the supplemental questions are optional. The information will be used collectively by the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly (COGA) and are not published.  This tab will also close at the end of statistics season.

Regarding the Statistics section, as previously “warned”, there are a few changes to the procedure this year.  Let me highlight a few:

  • There is no longer a workbook being produced. The program has been updated to include both helpful tools and definitions on each page to complete the process. It also in being offered in multiple languages: 한국어Español, and English. PDFs have been created related to the questions and definitions being asked.
  • The statistic pages look different!  They include instructions right next to each question.
  • The requested information is categorized differently.  There are fewer pages to complete (yea!) and the pages themselves are labeled differently (ex. Congregational Life)
  • Some of the information requested is different from previous years:  some are new questions; others have been deleted.

SOME IMPORTANT PIECES OF ADVICE

  1. The beginning Membership figureThis is your starting point.
  • If you missed entering statistics last year or the last two years (or more), you’ll have to do two (or three) years of work at this time.
    A.  Prepare by listing ALL the various gains and losses over the time period since you last submitted a statistical report.
    B.  Enter the appropriate numbers in the appropriate boxes.
    C.  Your total will be the now accurate membership figure for your church. That total will be the starting number next year.
    For every other entry section the “snapshot” is of your congregation NOW. Enter what is true for your church now.  Example: the financial statistics are for this year, 2018. The previous one or two years are not relevant to this part of this year’s report.

2.  With regard to the Age Distribution of Christian Education and Age Distribution of Members, do your best guesswork. Do not fret if you are not sure if a particular person is over 70 or under. Remember that this part of the report is a snapshot.

3.  With respect to the financial information: The way the reporting is set up, you should be able to find everything you need on your copy of your 2018 Church Budget.

To Recap

    1. A helpful new feature is that each question is accompanied by an explanation.
    2. When you are finished with a particular section (e.g. Membership Stats) you may click “submit.” In other words, you will be able to submit each portion of the report separately. If you should find an error, you may return to that section prior to the February 1st deadline date, make the correction, and click “submit” again. NOTE:  There is no final SUBMIT button at the end of the report.  You will continue to have access to make changes up until the February 1st deadline date.  Information is submitted each time you hit ACCEPT on each page.
    3. Do not, do not, DO NOT wait for your Session meeting to enter your statistical information.   The Session does not approve the report. It receives the report. You may begin entering information at any time, and do not to have to complete a page in one sitting.  Complete your data entry before February 1stNOTE:  The links are available NOW to begin this work.
    4. Follow the directions for printing a copy of your report. This is very important, because you need to put a copy of the report in your session minutes
  • At the session meeting following statistical report submission, present the copy of the report for session to receive. This report is received by the SESSION, not the congregation.

 

  • And . . . you do not have to wait for session’s approval to submit statistics. Their action is to receive the report, not to approve it.

You’ll be done. And ready to be celebrated for your good work by your Stated Clerk J.

Some additional tools for your tool belt:

HELP for Clerks of Session:  Annual Statistical Report Help Days!

Is this the first time you’ve prepared an Annual Statistical Report?  Maybe you’ve done a few before and have run into trouble with the new format.  Perhaps it’s just more fun to do together!  Join me for a Statistical Report Help Day on:

Saturday, January 12th, 10am-2pm at the Presbytery Office  OR

            Saturday, January 19th, 10am-2pm at the First Presbyterian Church, LeRoy, NY

Both opportunities are open house style – drop by if you can.  Bring along your computer and all your questions and we’ll prepare our reports together and offer support to one another.

SPECIAL TREAT for Clerks who complete the Statistical Report by February 1st:

I will be hosting a dessert/coffee evening during the month of February.  All clerks who complete their report by February 1st will be invited to this special event in celebration and grateful thanks for your service to your congregation and the wider church.  Stay tuned for more details!

And let’s not forget our annual Clerks Gathering at Congregational Learning Day, Saturday February 9th at Perinton Presbyterian. Here’s the workshop description:

Ministry of Clerks of Session

Elder Susan Orr, Presbyter for Healthier Congregations/Stated Clerk and Rev. Laura Norris Buisch, Stated Clerk for Western NY Presbytery

“Each council shall elect a clerk who shall record the transactions of the council keep its rolls of membership and attendance, maintain any required registers, preserve its records, and furnish extracts from them when required by another council of the church.” (G-3.0104). This is the definition of a Clerk of Session per the Book of Order. As Clerks, however, we know that our role is oh, so much more! We serve the members of the body by helping them accomplish their work fairly, efficiently, and faithfully, to the glory of God. This workshop will be an interactive opportunity facilitated by not one but two stated clerks, to explore the joys and responsibilities of being a clerk of session with a little bit of parliamentary procedure training sprinkled in. Participants will have the opportunity to share (and mutually respond to) the questions they bring.

For more information and to register for Congregational Learning Day, click here:  https://pbygenval.org/congregational-learning-day/